open layout master bedroom with skylight from a remodeled attic
Photo: William Enos

Making the Most of the Attic

Sometimes in the search for more living space there's no place to look but up. When Alan Koch bought this 1933 cottage in Portland, Oregon, he knew he'd be finishing the 600-square-foot attic sooner rather than later. And as a work-at-home educational and marketing consultant, Alan hankered for a light, bright office where he could spread out. By tapping the upstairs, he figured he could carve out just such a space, as well as a comfortable master suite, reserving downstairs bedrooms for guests and TV viewing.

Working with designer Kevin Fischer, he expanded the attic space by 100 square feet with a gabled dormer and, serving as his own general contractor, hired out HVAC and roof work while tackling demo and finish details himself. His airy aerie is now complete, and makes the most of every square inch with smart space-saving details—like the closet pocket door that keeps the passage-way free and clear. Says Alan, "It's such a homey space and, with views of sky and trees, an uplifting one, too."

Wall sconces: The Nauset Lantern Shop
Ceiling fan: Industry in Rust, The Modern Fan Co.

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